From the Archives: Creating Spaces for Grieving and Receiving by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

This blog was originally posted on April 26, 2020.

By now, all aspects of life have been altered or halted. The world as we know it has become radically different as we attempt to get a handle on this disease and stop the rising number of deaths each day. We are enduring trauma on a global and individual level. Trauma carries a myriad of emotions; anger and grief sometimes being the prominent two.  And with the rising uncertainty paired with the increasing amount of trauma and grief we are all experiencing, we need to find ways to talk about our feelings, share, and move forward.

As a global community, as a family, and as individuals we are impacted on all fronts. And the only way through this is that we must grieve. All people, even those that can work from home, those that continue to work ‘in’ the world, and everyone in-between. Everyone’s life has been altered in many ways and degrees. Expectations, plans, and standards of achievements have had to be put aside. We have had to adapt to a different way of life. Prom, tests, graduations, weddings, birthdays, holidays, and even funerals have had to fluctuate between being postponed, cancelled, or reworked to fulfill the lack of physical meetings. Currently over 22 million Americans had applied for unemployment benefits, countless others have seen their hours reduced, been placed on furlough, or sought employment at a company that is considered ‘essential business.’

The constant changing with the continue growing number of those who have been infected with COVID-19 comes the need to create space once more – space to receive tenderness and kindness, to find ways to grow stronger and more compassionate. And to create spaces for grief, a space where trauma is held tenderly and carefully so we all can metabolize what our daily life and world is. Which seems to swiftly changing with every new day.

The definition of pandemic states that a country, continent, or global is stricken by a disease, a general universal phenomenon. And while there is no denying that we are suffering a pandemic from a disease, I am also keenly aware that as a society and as humans, we had been suffering from toxic views, emotions, and actions. Here at FeminismandReligion.com we have written post after post talking about how we humans have been killing animals, each other, and the planet. The blog posts have helped to bring to light issues and problems which have long been kept silenced. One of the greatest outcomes of this Blog is that it has created space. Space for writers and readers to communicate, be in solidarity, find solace, and receive encouragement.

silence and space

I have held many conversations with many different people in my life where we have held space for each other; talked about how they are experiencing this pandemic, what is happening in their life, and how they are coping. And so here I am for my March post, creating a blogspace for us to metabolize our traumas, express our grief, share our trials and our joys, and to find ways to acknowledge the collateral beauty that has surrounded us.

healing space

May this blog post be a witness to the trauma, grief, anger, fear, and uncertainty. May it be a place for you to take a moment to breath deep and reconnect with your spirit and with our collective consciousness. One of the things I know in my bones, is that the way through this is together.

holding space quote

Anjeanette LeBoeuf has recently traded in the sunny days of California for the ever changing seasons of the Midwest. Anjeanette is currently the World Religions Professor at Saint Louis University. She continues to be the Queer Advocate for the Western Region of the American Academy of Religion. She has also recently helped to set up and is the current Chair of the Disabilities Studies Unit for the Western Region. Her focuses are divided between South Asian religions and religion and popular culture. One of the main themes in Anjeanette’s work is seeking out representations of women and queer people in all forms of popular culture and how religion plays into them. She looks forward to exploring St. Louis in the coming months.  



Categories: General, Grief

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